French wunderkind François Gabart will attempt solo round the world record in new trimaran

Vendeé Globe winner and French sailing wunderkind François Gabart has revealed the details of the new 100ft trimaran he is to build with sponsors Macif in a race programme from 2015 to 2019 that culminates in a solo round the world attempt in 2019.

The 29-year-old French sailor became a sports superstar and heart throb in France when he won the solo round the world Vendée Globe in 2013 on his first attempt. He has just won the IMOCA 60 class in the Route du Rhum, setting a new course record for the class, again on his first attempt, and is arguably the most prominent and promising rising star in ocean racing right now.

Gabart’s new trimaran will be designed by the pre-eminent multihull design studio VPLP, which was also behind his IMOCA 60 design.The new boat will fit into the ‘Ultime’ class for giant multihulls, a slightly random class that embraces MOD70s, giant round the world trimarans such as the 131ft Spindrift 2.

The new Macif will join a cohort of maxi trimarans designed specifically for solo sailing, such as Thomas Coville’s Sodeb’O and Francis Joyon’s IDEC. These trimarans are benefiting from trickledown from the America’s Cup as they begin to add, experiment with and utilise advances such as rudder T-foils and other foiling concepts at a much larger scale.

The new Macif is already well in build in France, as shown in the photos in the slideshow above, and is due to launch in summer 2015. Gabart will do his first offshore race in 2016, with a programme including the 2018 Route du Rhum and building up to a solo round the world attempt in 2019.

The record of 57d 13h was set in 2008 by Francis Joyon in his 100ft trimaran IDEC, and despite it being a less sophisticated and fast trimaran than Gabart will be building, Joyon’s record will be a very tough one to better – Thomas Coville has made four attempts in the last decade and failed each time.

The dimensions of the new yacht will be:


Length: ‘about’ 30m

Beam: 20m

Mast height: 35m

Sail upwind area: 600m²

Sail area downwind: 700m²